Following the Coronavirus-induced lockdown across the country in the past few months and the recent ban on 59 Chinese-origin mobile apps imposed by the Government of India, Rheo — India’s pioneering video game streaming platform, has witnessed a phenomenal jump in the number of new downloads of its Android mobile app. Further, the number of new users on Rheo has increased by up to 200% per day, and the total numbers of users on the platform have doubled (grown by 2x) during this period.
Rheo is a first-of-its-kind Indian game streaming service that aims to redefine the gaming industry in our country by making use of streaming channels to build communities and encourage conversations, for both professional as well as hobby gamers. While ushering a gaming-based entertainment ecosystem that drives superior engagement and monetization for streamers, Rheo vision is to bring gaming and e-sports to the same league as that of Cricket and Bollywood in India.
Speaking about recent happenings and the resultant growth surge for the start-up, Mr. Saksham Keshri, Founder & CEO, Rheo says, “Game streaming, although a fairly new concept in India, is emerging as a great alternative to the existing other sources of entertainment for the commoners including short videos, etc. As soon as the gamut of Chinese apps got banned in India due to data security concerns, the audience started actively looking out for new sources of entertainment via Made-in-India platforms. This helped us at Rheo in gaining wider reach through word-of-mouth, and hence we have noticed a sudden boom in traffic and new downloads for our mobile app.”
Besides the ongoing anti-China sentiments sweeping across the nation, another key factor aiding Rheo growth in recent months has been the Covid-19 lockdown. “Ever since the Corona lockdown began, people were forced to stay inside their homes and started playing more games online and throughout the entire day; this made gamers become more curious about different gaming levels, and thus gaming community based streaming platforms benefitted in a big way. With the dual impact of lockdown and the latest ban on Chinese apps, we have now become the go-to source of entertainment for new-age gaming enthusiasts in India. We at Rheo believe that India has surpassed the casual gaming stage, and competitive, real-time midcore and hardcore games and e-sports tournaments will become the next big thing in the market. At this point, Rheo is enabling the growing pool of mobile gamers to stream live from their smartphones and in their respective vernacular languages, thus giving the passionate Indian gamers and streamers a platform to showcase and monetize their talents while creating interactive communities of their own,” adds Mr. Saksham Keshri.
As of date, Rheo has over 50k registered streamers, creating gaming content every day. The platform streams the gameplay of over 100 different games including PUBG, Free Fire, Call of Duty, GTA 5, etc. Users of the platform can play and stream their favourite games in their local language, chat and engage with their favourite streamers, and earn Rheo coins and vouchers through various activities to redeem for items across various games.
India has around 470m Gen-Z gamers who are playing games on their mobile phones. So far, there was no single dedicated Indian platform for them to stream their games and create communities and fan base around gaming. Rheo wants to solve this problem and make game streaming a mainstream career option in India, by building a powerful gaming entertainment ecosystem that drives both engagement and monetization. Soon after its official launch in November 2019, Rheo had raised $2 million in seed funding from a clutch of angel investors including Sequoia Surge, Lightspeed, and others.